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School District Budget
2014-2015 School District Budget
2014-2015 Budget
123 MB - posted 9/11/14

64 MB - posted 9/12/13
From 2007-08 through 2011-12, the St. Johns County School District saw its amount of funds per student decreased by the legislative allocation process. When budgets are being reduced, the District still remains responsible for managing student growth, maintaining the constitutional class-size requirements, opening new schools and most recently implementing the new teacher and administrator evaluation system.
Although the 2014 Legislature increased funding for St. Johns County schools by approximately $9.7 million, the financial and economic pressures still facing the District are tremendous. As an example, despite the increase of 6.4 percent in property value this year, the capital outlay millage remains at 1.5 mills rather than the previous levy allowed by law of2.0 mills. Thus, the ability to raise revenue commensurate with the District's capital needs is severely restricted. Revenues for the Local Capital Improvement Fund are being projected to be $28.9 million, or approximately $1.7 million more than the prior year, yet the 2007-08 Local Capital Improvement Funds amounted to approximately $46.8 million. This equates to an approximate 40 percent decrease in revenue sources for capital projects, while at the same time the number of students being served increased by 22 percent from 27,737 students in 2007-08 to 33,869 students in 2014-15. Since 2007-08, the capital outlay budget has lost access to more than $180.2 million. This revenue loss will continue to jeopardize our ability to maintain existing schools or build new ones as needed. In addition, the ongoing lack of funding could negatively impact the District's credit rating and its ability to efficiently manage its debt.
The District's revenue and expenditure budgets have changed significantly since July 2013. Highlights from the 2014-15 budget process are as follows:

State & local funding has increased by approximately $9,778,096.
Per student funding for 2014-15 is $6,809.53, which remains well below the 2007-08 per student funding of $7,202.43.
Student population for 2014-15 is projected to grow by 2.48 percent, or 804 students.
As a result of the lack of previously experienced state funding, the loss of the stimulus funding, continued student growth and other downward pressures on the budget, the District could use approximately $23.5 million from its fund balance to sustain school operations during 2014-15.
The 2014-15 budget will provide 63 additional instructional staff units.  
Approximately $2.7 million in recurring costs is needed to fund operations at both new K-8 schools (Patriot Oaks Academy and Valley Ridge Academy) scheduled to open in August 2014.
Florida Retirement System rates will increase to 7.3 7 percent in 2014-15 from 6.95 percent in 2013- 14, resulting in an overall increase of approximately 6.0 percent increase in the Board's FRS contribution, or approximately $681,000.
The Teacher Salary Allocation categorical that was funded in the prior year for employee salary increases was rolled into the Base Student Allocation (BSA) for the current year. The BSA for 2014-15 is $4,031.77 and the 2013-14 BSA was $3,752.30.    
Other major changes from the 2014 Legislative session include the partial funding of the digital classroom and technology initiative, clarification of the cost for dual enrollment tuition calculation and the expansion of the number of elementary schools statewide that will be required to provide an additional hour of reading instruction.    
In addition, other pressures on the District's budget include the proper funding mechanisms and related plan designs for its self-funded medical plan, the funding of the teacher performance pay system, the funding of the "one to one" digital learning initiative, the expiration of the federally funded Race to the Top grant and the various staffmg changes necessary to maintain support of teaching and learning in our schools.
Florida continues to be in the lowest tiers in terms of per student funding for operational needs when compared to other states. As previously mentioned, the funding did increase for 2014-15; however, the state has a long way to go to restore Florida K-12 funding to the 2007-08 level.
Finally, it cannot be understated that the District's capital and maintenance expense budgets continue to be restricted. This is due mainly to the fact that the District is currently growing at 2.48 percent per year and, as stated earlier, has endured several years of declining capital revenue. In fact, the 2007-08 capital fund generated approximately $46.8 million. The same capital fund will generate only $28.9 million in 2014- 15. This disparity is due mainly to the continuing negative impacts of previous years' declining property values as a result of the housing market collapse and the related economic meltdown. More importantly, the Florida Legislature reduced the allowable millage levy from 2.0 mills to 1.75 mills in 2008-09 and then again to l.5 mills in 2009-10. It currently remains at 1.5 mills for 2014-15. For the foreseeable future, capital and maintenance projects must be prioritized with a focus on critical needs only. The District will be forced to move away from being prepared for growth and using preventive maintenance (in order to minimize costs), to only meeting critical needs. A backlog of growth and maintenance needs (deferred maintenance) will surely develop.
If the District does not see a leveling or improvement in per student spending in the future, it will be necessary to once again reduce operating and capital expenditures budgets so there is not an emergency when our fund balance has been exhausted.
In closing, past performance is a good predictor of future performance. To review our past financial performance, please visit our web page at www.stjohns.k12.fl.us. and click on Financial Transparency. Here you will find detailed information about our financial activity.

For more information on the St. Johns County School District Budget, please view the complete 2014-2015 School District Budget.

Last Modified: Sep 11, 2014